I am about three weeks into my LL.M. International Law and Sustainable Development course so far, and I am really enjoying it. I have previously read some of the mainstream literature (i.e. George Monbiot, Joseph Stiglitz, Phillipe Legraine, and Jeffrey Sachs, to name a few), but I had not encountered much of the academic literature. Although I was generally aware of the political, economic, and moral arguments surrounding sustainable development, I had never really understood or really considered the legal framework. I am truly relishing the opportunity to think about these issues in different way. I now have even more questions than I did at the start of the course, which I suppose is the mark of a good education.
Also in the good news category, I have just accepted a job offer as a part-time researcher. The work is home based and will allow me to set my hours around my studying, so the flexibility means that I shouldn’t have to compromise my studies. Although I am a bit disappointed not to get the opportunity to continue my work in schools, this is the best fit for me right now. In schools, I focused more on “big picture” issues, and, as a solo librarian, I was pulled in so many directions that I was never able to specialise in one area. Whilst I like the variety of school librarianship, I think it will be good for me to work in a more specialised position for a change. It will allow me to concentrate on developing my indexing and researching skills.
The point of this year was for me to step out of education librarianship for awhile and learn something new. So far, I haven’t really done that, particularly as the budget cuts are starting to bite here in the UK and the education reform debate rages in the US, so I find it difficult to tear myself away from issues about which I feel so strongly. Whilst I don’t want to neglect my legal studies, I do think as a professional librarian I have an obligation to keep up with developments and speak up for those still employed in the public sector.